RMAF chief General Datuk Seri Affendi Buang said the new requirement for the LCA would enable the air force to keep up with advanced technology and capability.
“Our BAE Hawks are now already passing 25 years in service.
“We have to do forward planning due to the aging factor as the maintenance for the fighter jet is getting costly and its capabilities are not up to date,” he told the New Straits Times at the RMAF office at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima) 2019.
The fighter jets are currently being used to monitor the airspace at the South China Sea and the eastern part of Sabah.
Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) discussed at the LIMA19 airhow Langkawi - "Saab confirming that it has thrown its hat into the ring with Gripen" (AIN online) - True & why? Gripen can perform MRCA & LCA duties - competition cannot -"bang for the buck" pic.twitter.com/lXBBCPTAym— Richard smith (@RichJBsmith) March 29, 2019
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had said Malaysia would remain interested in acquiring new fighter aircraft, but was not in a hurry as the ones the air force operated now were still performing well.
It is understood that the LCA contenders included the Korea-made T-50 Golden Eagle, Russia’s YAK-130, Leonardo M-346FA, BAE Systems Hawk, India’s Tejas and the JF-17 Thunder from Pakistan. (end of excerpt)
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